Today in Technology History
February 25 (continued)

The images below are from Davenport's patent for the electric motor, issued in early 1837.

Notice that the patent number is 132. Even though the U.S. Patent Office had granted thousands of patents since its first in 1790, new patents were not numbered until 1836 -- coincidentally, the same year as the patent office fire. 

The "galvanic magnets" and "artificial magnets" are the heart of Davenport's invention. A battery supplies an electric current to the electromagnets, and the magnetic forces of attraction and repulsion turn the wheel. The patent describes Davenport's invention as a "propelling machine." Elsewhere, he described it as an "engine," but we would consider it a motor today.

These images are courtesy of the U.S. Patent Office.

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